With the increasing number of smartphones, there are bound to be a lot of third party accessories for them. Especially for Apple products where accessories are sold for a premium price. And with the introduction of the new lightning connector, Apple moved away completely from the traditional 30 pin dock connector which was standard for the iPod Classic, iPod Touch, iPhones and iPads. This apparently brought faster transfer speeds and quicker charging capabilities, with the tradeoff being limited third party accessories at the time of the launch. But we expected that to pick up pace as the days went by and some Chinese accessory makers were quick to open up the lightning connector to replicate them and start selling affordable cables of their own.
In the U.S, a company named Junior Edison was formed so as to bring mobile charging to all these devices with a device called POP (Point of Power). This charging device came with retractable cords and is portable to conveniently carry it around. Powering the unit is a 26,000 mAh battery pack inside to charge almost every device you own with ease. The group also had a variant named POP Station planned which would allow users to plug into a nearest plug point and charge the device that way. Since this was a new and emerging group, they needed to raise funds to support the project, which is why they posted their idea on Kickstarter, eventually garnering lot of pledgers and raising funds of up to $139,170. However, it now seems like the gang at Junior Edison are preparing to refund the money to the pledgers/investors as the project has failed to take off. And this has nothing to do with the company itself, but the stringent rules put in place by Apple, apparently.
As you would expect, this new portable charging device decided to have the proprietary Apple lightning charging connector as one of its cords along with the usual USB and other charging cords to support other devices. But that’s where the problem began, it seems, as Apple wanted the charging unit to only include its lightning connector and not any other port (not even its own 30 pin accessory). So what this meant was that the gang at Junior Edison had to make this an iPhone only charging accessory, which frankly wouldn’t work as there are plenty of other devices out there which have a market for an accessory like this. Every third party accessory that supports Apple products needs prior reviewing and permission from Apple. So when Junior Edison asked for permission, Apple broke the news and the project was called off and the folks have decided to refund the money to the investors (over 1,000 of them). The company ruled out launching the POP with a standard 30-pin port and a lightning adapter as it would make no financial sense. This is because the adapters alone cost $25 (on wholesale).
Some feel this was all intentional and the developers just wanted to get some attention. Because when you look closely at the actual product, it comes with two female USB ports at the bottom. So even though there’s no retractable lightning port on board, I guess users with a lightning cable would be able to use the charging port just fine. The ability to not add a retractable lightning cable to the unit shouldn’t be enough reason to call of the entire project, which I guess makes all of this sound a little suspicious. Moreover, the CEO of Junior Edison, Jamie Siminoff has decided to refund the investors’ money on his own crowdfunding site – Christie Street. So was this just to garner attention from the investors on Kickstarter so as to make a name for himself? We hope not, because the idea shown here was really brilliant and we would have really liked the device seeing the light of the day. On the other hand, it makes us wonder about Apple’s policies where it doesn’t allow third party accessories to support both lightning and its own 30-pin connectors. For now, it is curtains on this project and investors should shortly get their money back.